Good times in Hawaii. Here are 10 things that made me happy in September:
- Playing in Waikiki.
- More family visited. They stayed in town so it was fun to go out and be tourists. We went to the Okinawan Festival – this bonzai exhibit was great.
- Getting my iPhone 5!
- Exploring at Kaena Point – always a fun time.
- Whole Ox Deli – ahhhh-mazing breakfast. I die. No need for Portland anymore.
- Madre Chocolate – it’s good.
- Fresh lilikoi.
- Shirokiya – we go there quite a lot to grab ramen or whatever looks tasty. Reminds me of being in Japan. Which brings me to happiness about planning our upcoming Japan and Korea vacation.
- Starting to run again. Why am I so slow?! But the views are worth it – this spot was a treat!
- SUPing at flat island and to the Mokuluas.
After owning my iPhone for just over a year, I can’t even imagine what my life was like pre-smartphone. Since I recently backed up my phone and created a photo archive, I was able to see just what I’ve been up to in the past year! Sorting through 3,326 photos was no small feat, but it was so fun to relive the moments as I organized. It was like a cluttered, non-mindful version of the Jonathan Harris – Today video.
I also enjoyed seeing all the location geotags from my photos. In Google Picasa, I keep the Places pane open* and it’s so fun to see the places I’ve been since I got my phone. I was amazed at all the traveling I’ve done. And on the iPhone it’s even more fun … as you zoom in to look at a location, more places tags appear on the screen. Oh, memory lane!
*If you’re posting or sharing a photo, the best bet is to click on the red pinpoint in your Picasa Places map and choose “Erase location info” for the places you don’t want to share with the world!
I’m happy to say I spent 18 of the 31 days of October in Greece and Turkey. This month’s 10 things loved list is going to reflect that.
1. Greek yoghurt – I could live on this stuff. I’ve always loved Greek yogurt, but there’s nothing like going straight to the source. Topped with honey, nuts, fruit – you name it. Love, love love. And isn’t it fun to spell yoghurt with an ‘h’?
2. Traveling with an iPhone – Pre-iPhone, I never imagined how fun this would be. There’s Facebook, Skype and e-mail on the go, but the biggest bonus was the camera. We brought our point and shoot Canon but we ended up using our iPhones during the day for most shots. Now I’m starting to think the perfect travel combination would be an iPhone for daily travel and busy city shots, and a nice SLR for the artsy, good shots. We also enjoyed hooking up to Wifi hotspots all over Greece and Turkey, and the GPS with Google Maps for directions.
3. Packing light – I contemplated taking just a large purse on the trip, a la the “No Baggage Challenge” guy … but I settled on this small Columbia backpack. I am always delighted by people’s reactions when they find out I’m traveling for 2-3 weeks with a tiny bag. And it’s totally worth it to take only the things you love, pack clothing that plays well in multiple outfits, and be able to hike around with your own stuff.
4. Santorini – Quite possibly the most romantic destination on the planet. We spent three days here – we stayed in Imerovigli and it was amazing. We hiked to Oia, relaxed by the pool, watched the sunset over the caldera, ate wonderful food, visited wineries, spent a day at the beach… We could have stayed for a week or two.
5. Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir Turkish delights – They’ve been making these lokum (Turkish Delights) since 1777. They are to DIE for. I regret just buying one box. We finished them before we even left Istanbul. The shop is on Istiklal Street, just south of Taksim Square. Must go back soon!
6. Going to a Hamam – I’ve wanted to go to a Turkish bath for years and knew I couldn’t leave Istanbul without crossing this off the list. Since I was traveling with my husband, we decided to go to a coed hamam. We chose Suleymaniye, which is housed in a historic building that was designed by the same architect who designed the Suleymaniye Mosque. It was a great experience and very relaxing … part sauna, part bath, part massage. Next time we’re in Istanbul we’ll hit the hamam when we arrive and the day before we leave!
7. Tulu – I have been drooling over items in the Tulu Textiles online shop for the past year or so and was so excited to go here. The designer, Elizabeth Hewitt, is an American, but the pieces have a great global feel… although I think many of her products are sourced in India. Unfortunately, It didn’t quite live up to the hype, mostly because the shop workers wouldn’t allow photos in the store (and proceeded to follow us around which was uncomfortable)! Needless to say, not the experience I had dreamed about, but still some amazing eye candy. The fabrics and colors are quite inspiring. I purchased a set of $80 napkins and a beautiful marble flower tray. Overall, beautiful store, hold the attitude. Tears.
8. Egyptian Spice Market – What an amazing source of inspiration. So many luscious colors and scents. I was completely taken with the variety of teas here. The jasmine blossoms were probably my favorite.
9. Sanborns – Our first restaurant breakfast back home in Portland was at Sanborns. We come here every few months anyway, but it was a great welcome home.
10. Portland Police – Really? Yes! We arrived home to the news that the people who burglarized our home during our last vacation were caught! That’s why I finally felt like I had some closure on my housing issue. Ah, sweet justice! Thanks, Portland Police. 🙂
I’m a little late in posting this one; August is nearly over! Regardless, here are 10 things that made me happy in July.
- The Waffle Window: I’ve been hearing about this place for-like-ever, thinking “yeah, yeah, good waffles, I’ll get there.” But, seriously, go soon – it’s delish. Seriously! Waffles so good, you’ll be OMG-ing like teen girl squad.
- Free TriMet pass: My work gives out free annual TriMet passes. While I’ve only used it to get to work a few times, it comes in handy on the weekends. I heart TriMet, unless it’s late at night or I’m riding past 82nd.
- Cannon Beach: Only in Oregon can you capture scenes like this on a “busy” weekend.
- World Cup fever: Great fun, despite my allegiance to Les Bleus, who had more drama than an episode of Glee. In fact, by the time my t-shirt came in the mail, France was OUT! Watching the World Cup Final in Pioneer Courthouse Square downtown Portland made up for my disappointment.
- My kitteh: …and his patience over the last month as I have accosted him on a daily basis with my oh so lovely new iPhone. I can haz photo shoot?
- del Inti: I love a restaurant that changes the menu on a daily or weekly basis. I also love watching the chef chop leaves from a plant to use as a garnish. They call themselves Peruvian-northwest. I call them yummy. I had the gnocchi.
- Mini designer chairs: I got my first blind-box design interior collection miniature chair in Tokyo a couple of years ago. Each collection has nine pieces, so you never know what you’re going to get… an Eames lounger? A Mezzadro stool?
- Café Yumm!: My favorite is the smoky yumm bowl. It’s about time Portland got a Café Yumm! I do have a slight beef with their inclusion of an exclamation point in their restaurant name, and their double-m version of yum, but their darn yumm!iness makes it tolerable.
- Paper crafts: As I slowly adjust to leaving my work-life as a designer, I’m feeling the need for more creativity in my home-life. I busted out the craft supplies and turned some old paper samples into a fun birthday card for Comma Mister.
- Zinnias: These made me smile all month.